The sugar industry is primarily a rural based industry, and the rural communities that form part of its footprint are a key stakeholder to its sustainability.
In order to maximize the development of both the people and the land, the sugar industry has formulated a rural development strategy that proposes an inclusive rural development model for the cane growing areas of communal land. The strategy provides a framework that will facilitate the coordinated implementation of interventions aimed at developing stable and prosperous rural communities.
The model proposes an integrated approach to sustainable cane development which is supported by the provision of strategic infrastructure, and support for the development of community based enterprises in the sugar cane production value chain. The model also acknowledges that other commodities like livestock and cash crops need to co-exist with sugar cane. It is envisaged that partnerships will be developed between government, communities and the industry in the implementation projects.